• SOCCEROOS' HOPES OF GLORY ON HOME SOIL HINGE ON ASIAN CUP DRAW

24 Mar 2014

 Arthur Stanley

THE Socceroos’ 2015 Asian Cup opponents will be decided this Wednesday as Australia gears up to host one of  the most significant international sporting events in its history.

Organisers expect more than 45,000 international visitors to join a strong local multicultural audience at 32 football games across 23 days, which will reach an extraordinary TV audience of  2.5 billion people.

ANZ Stadium will host all Sydney games during the tournament that will run from 9-31 January, including a Socceroos Group match (13 Jan), three non-Socceroos Group matches (10,15, 19 Jan), a quarter-final (23 Jan), a semi-final blockbuster on Australia Day 26 January, and the Final on Saturday 31 January.

The Final Draw for the AFC Asian Cup 2015, to be held at the Sydney Opera House Wednesday night, is a significant and key milestone in which the 16 finalists will be drawn into four groups to confirm the matches and venues in which each team will play.

The Asian Cup is just one of the upcoming major football events at ANZ Stadium:

Other highlights are:

  • The Socceroos Farewell Match before the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Monday 26 May. To secure your seats, click here.
  • A much-anticipated visit from Italian giants Juventus, who will take on the A-League All Stars on Saturday 10 August. This exciting event is expected to mirror the record crowd and atmosphere of the 2013 Manchester United game. For more information click here.

ANZ Stadium Gold Members will get priority rights for purchasing tickets to attend the 2015 AFC Asian Cup matches. Further details will be provided in due course.

AFC ASIAN CUP 2015 RANKINGS

Team

Qualification Method

Tournament Ranking

Australia

Tournament Host

1

IR Iran

Group B Winner, AC2015 Qualifiers

2

Japan

Champion, AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011

3

Uzbekistan

Group E Runner-up, AC2015 Qualifiers

4

Korea Republic

3rd Place, AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011

5

UAE

Group E Winner, AC2015 Qualifiers

6

Jordan

Group A Runner-up, AC2015 Qualifiers

7

Saudi Arabia

Group C Winner, AC2015 Qualifiers

8

Oman

Group A Winner, AC2015 Qualifiers

9

China

Best 3rd placed team across all groups

10

Qatar

Group D Runner-up, AC2015 Qualifiers

11

Iraq

Group C Runner-up, AC2015 Qualifiers

12

Bahrain

Group D Winner, AC2015 Qualifiers

13

Kuwait

Group B Runner-up, AC2015 Qualifiers

14

DPR Korea

Champion, AFC Challenge Cup 2012

15

AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Winner

TBC 30 May 2014

16

An Asian Cup tournament victory is seen as a realistic goal for the new-look Socceroos team under coach Ange Postecoglou.

However, beyond football is the strategic importance of Australia hosting this massive football event. Consider that:

  • This is the biggest football tournament Australia has ever hosted, with half a million fans to watch the games and with international visitors to inject more than $100 million into the Australian economy.
  • It is the biggest sporting event in Asia and the jewel in the crown of Asian football.
  • Governments will use the event to strengthen cultural, social and economic ties with our Asian neighbours through football.
  • Australia’s largest export markets are from Asia – China, Japan, Republic of Korea and India.
  • Seven of the nation’s top 10 trading partners are all in the AFC region.
  • Sydney is a major business hub in the Asia Pacific and accessible to the world. There is only a six-hour time difference between our east coast and half the world’s population.

Fifteen of the 16 teams have already qualified for AFC Asian Cup 2015: Australia as host country, Korea Republic and Japan based on their placings at AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 and DPR Korea based on winning the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal in 2012. In addition, the following 11 teams have also qualified – Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, China and Iraq. The final place will go to the winner of the AFC Challenge Cup, played in May.

Senior football officials are excited by the rise of the sport here in Australia, and this growth is magnified many times throughout Asia, which is poised to be the growth engine for world football.

By 2020, football chiefs expect more than 380 million people to be actively playing football throughout Asia.

Michael Brown, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Local Organising Committee, said: “There are more than 2.5 million people of Asian heritage living in Australia who will follow the 2015 AFC Asian Cup with great interest.

“A quarter of all NSW residents are born overseas and multicultural communities are very excited to have the Asian Cup matches coming to NSW this January.

“Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest assets and it will no doubt contribute to the sense of community celebration during this world-class sporting event.”

Socceroos coach Postecoglou believes all Australians will be united behind the national team, although he admits there will be many divided loyalties thoughout the tournament due to the unique multicultural nature of our country.

“The Socceroos are the people’s team, and the Asian Cup is the people’s tournament,” he said.

“This is a chance for Australia to shine on and off the field. We are one of the most multicultural nations on earth, and for the first time we are hosting the top 16 teams in the world’s biggest region.”

This call-to-arms comes during an exciting time in Australian football, with the Socceroos in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil after qualifying in a nail-biting clash against Iraq at ANZ Stadium on 18 June 2013.

Stay up-to-date with the Asian Cup latest, click here.